Got a daemon on your back? This is just the sort of thing that the religious is dogging at the upcoming New Line Cinema presentation of the "The Golden Compass" ("Northern Lights", in the UK). Based on the critically acclaimed legerdemain-themed trilogy novels of Philip Pullman collectively known as "His Dark Materials".
"The Golden Compass" stars Nicole Kidman, Sam Elliot, Eva Green, Daniel Craig and 12-year old newcomer Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra, out to save their world from evil tyranny - and so on ,and so forth. Its a "Lord of the Rings" meets "Narnia" meets "Harry Potter" with a sci-fi/fantasy aesthetic reminiscent of Naboo in the "Star Wars" movies.
Looking at the trailer however, it doesn't look at all like a Frankenstein-stitch-job of movie elements that sold in the past. The Golden Compass may just be able to stand on its own as the next big (although unfortunately not bigger, nor biggest) magical movie franchise.
So what's up with the daemons? In the film's parallel world, people's souls are hosted within their animal-spirit companions or "daemons". Children's daemons can morph according to the child's infinite potential then gradually settles to a particular form as one ages. If you want to know what sort of daemon you might have, head over to the resource link below and play a short game of 20-questions. My daemon profile is below. In the next few days, you can twiddle with it to confirm or change whether my daemon ought to be a "Xanthia".
Quite frankly though, I don't like spiders.
Anyway, here's a sneak peak at the majestic visual style of the movie.
"The Golden Compass" has evident anti-religious overtones, toned-down however compared to the books, despite the fact that its still basically a battle between good and evil story. Pullman is known to be a self-confessed atheist and some Catholic groups have called for a boycott of the film crying foul at the perceived intent to sell "atheism for kids".
Well, that's exactly what the religious groups bellyached before about the Harry Potter series. Let's see how far this "bad" publicity is going to buoy New Line's $200 million plus gamble.
Personally, I don't think one's faith should be affected nor determined by a 2-hour plus sitting in a dark movie house. If you seek to be indoctrinated, don't watch the movie. On the other hand, if you just want to be entertained, then just enjoy the film.
There's a bit of a name game going on with this movie production. Two Ian's, McKellen and McShane (two mac's at that too), are battling it out as the voices behind the armoured polar bears in the film. Then there's Richards - I mean, how many young girl actors may sport Dakota, of all the 51 US States, as their name? What's up with that?
"The Golden Compass" premieres at a Red Carpet launch in London's Odeon Leicester Square on the 27th of November. The film opens worldwide, December 2.
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